Heathrow Airport Enlists Ex-Undercover Officer Danni Brooke to Train Team in Identifying ‘Airport Dads’ and Offering Stress Relief

Heathrow Airport Enlists Ex-Undercover Officer Danni Brooke to Train Team in Identifying ‘Airport Dads’ and Offering Stress Relief

  • Danni Brooke, star of C4’s Hunted, drafts an internal memo to brief airport teams on decoding anxious passengers’ body language 
  • Heathrow colleagues will be on high alert across all four terminals during family holiday season 
  • New signage has been installed across the airport and ‘Airport Dads’ will be given freebies and vouchers to get in the holiday mood 
  • Initiative launched in response to viral “Airport Dad” videos sweeping TikTok 

London, UK, 2023-Aug-17 — /Travel PR News/ — With over 7 million passengers set to travel through Heathrow this August, the UK’s largest airport has enlisted ex-undercover police officer and star of Channel 4’s Hunted Danni Brooke to train colleagues on how to spot the body language typical of an ‘Airport Dad’. Heathrow’s Here to Help team – now the Airport Dad Deactivation team – will de-stress frazzled travellers with vouchers for free food, drinks, de-stress facials at Kiehl’s and premium lounge access to calm them down and get them in the holiday mood.

According to new research commissioned by Heathrow, Brits believe keeping hold of the family’s passports (35 per cent), constantly checking the time (34 per cent), and taking charge of getting everyone to the airport (33 per cent) are the top traits of the Airport Dad, a label which went viral after the trend for filming frazzled fathers took over TikTok. Videos under the hashtag #airportdad have collectively garnered over 280 million views, with methodical mums and hyper-organised friends also being dubbed Airport Dads under the hashtag, which refers to anyone in the holiday party who has taken on most of the responsibility.

Danni Brooke has used her expertise in covert work to draft an internal memo circulated amongst Heathrow’s volunteer Here to Help team, training them to spot the key signs of an Airport Dad before holiday tension ensues. The memo has also informed new signage posted throughout Heathrow’s terminals, warning the public to be on high alert for potential Airport Dads.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 members of the British public, also surprisingly found that over a third of Brits (33 per cent) see themselves as the person most likely to turn into an Airport Dad, with the top reasons being because it gives them peace of mind (39 per cent) and they feel stressed when not in control of holiday organisation (41 per cent).

Danni Brooke commented on her undercover assignment with Heathrow: “I’ve spent my career building the skills it takes to analyse a person through their body language, and act on the situation before it escalates. While Airport Dads may not be doing anything criminal, it can certainly feel that way to families who are just looking to relax and enjoy a much-needed break. Now, the Heathrow team have all the skills they need to spot these Airport Dads before they share their stress with their whole party, ensuring their holidays start from the moment they step into the airport.”

The data showed that the majority of Airport Dads can start feeling stressed up to and over a week before their trip, so it is hoped the new initiative will help to calm down travellers before it comes to jetting off.

Becky Denness, Head of Customer Engagement at Heathrow, explained: “At Heathrow, our priority is making the travel experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Our research showed the majority of ‘Airport Dads’ would feel more relaxed if they could enjoy their favourite meal or drink or take a valuable moment to rest, so we hope we can help some of these passengers to relax and enjoy the airport journey, and show them there’s really nothing to stress about!”

The Airport Dad Deactivation team will be handing out vouchers to be used at various restaurants and retailers. Airport Dads can enjoy free de-stress facials at Kiehl’s, free food and drink at most restaurants including Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, Carluccio’s and Wagamama, and complimentary lounge access complete with drinks and snacks. The initiative will be in place across the summer holiday period, ending on 31st August.

Heathrow is also encouraging kids to take clandestine footage of their Airport Dads in action under the hashtags #Heathrow #AirportDad in an effort to raise awareness of the phenomenon.

Travellers can take advantage of Heathrow’s other initiatives to make travelling easier for families, including the Kids Eat Free offer – available at selected restaurants across terminals – and free Heathrow Express tickets for children under 15.

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Source: Heathrow Airport